Mistress of the Vatican
Author: Eleanor Herman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Eleanor Herman, the talented author of the New York Times bestselling Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen goes behind the sacred doors of the Catholic Church in Mistress of the Vatican, a scintillating biography of a powerful yet little-known woman whose remarkable story is ripe with secrets, sex, passion, and ambition. For almost four centuries this astonishing story of a woman’s absolute power over the Vatican has been successfully buried—until now.
Sex with Kings
Author: Eleanor Herman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Throughout the centuries, royal mistresses have been worshiped, feared, envied, and reviled. They set the fashions, encouraged the arts, and, in some cases, ruled nations. Eleanor Herman's Sex with Kings takes us into the throne rooms and bedrooms of Europe's most powerful monarchs. Alive with flamboyant characters, outrageous humor, and stirring poignancy, this glittering tale of passion and politics chronicles five hundred years of scintillating women and the kings who loved them. Curiously, the main function of a royal mistress was not to provide the king with sex but with companionship. Forced to marry repulsive foreign princesses, kings sought solace with women of their own choice. And what women they were! From Madame de Pompadour, the famous mistress of Louis XV, who kept her position for nineteen years despite her frigidity, to modern-day Camilla Parker-Bowles, who usurped none other than the glamorous Diana, Princess of Wales. The successful royal mistress made herself irreplaceable. She was ready to converse gaily with him when she was tired, make love until all hours when she was ill, and cater to his every whim. Wearing a mask of beaming delight over any and all discomforts, she was never to be exhausted, complaining, or grief-stricken. True, financial rewards for services rendered were of royal proportions -- some royal mistresses earned up to $200 million in titles, pensions, jewels, and palaces. Some kings allowed their mistresses to exercise unlimited political power. But for all its grandeur, a royal court was a scorpion's nest of insatiable greed, unquenchable lust, and vicious ambition. Hundreds of beautiful women vied to unseat the royal mistress. Many would suffer the slings and arrows of negative public opinion, some met with tragic ends and were pensioned off to make room for younger women. But the royal mistress often had the last laugh, as she lived well and richly off the fruits of her "sins." From the dawn of time, power has been a mighty aphrodisiac. With diaries, personal letters, and diplomatic dispatches, Eleanor Herman's trailblazing research reveals the dynamics of sex and power, rivalry and revenge, at the most brilliant courts of Europe. Wickedly witty and endlessly entertaining, Sex with Kings is a chapter of women's history that has remained unwritten -- until now.
Sex with the Queen LP
Author: Eleanor Herman
Publisher: Harper Collins
The follow-up to Sex with Kings explores the scintillating sexual lives of some of the most beloved and infamous female rulers, including the notorious Catherine the Great, the passionately foolish Marie Antoinette, and the bastion of virtue, Queen Victoria. (History -- General)
The Honest Courtesan
Author: Margaret F. Rosenthal
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
The Venetian courtesan has long captured the imagination as a female symbol of sexual license, elegance, beauty, and unruliness. What then to make of the cortigiana onesta—the honest courtesan who recast virtue as intellectual integrity and offered wit and refinement in return for patronage and a place in public life? Veronica Franco (1546-1591) was such a woman, a writer and citizen of Venice, whose published poems and familiar letters offer rich testimony to the complexity of the honest courtesan's position. Margaret F. Rosenthal draws a compelling portrait of Veronica Franco in her cultural social, and economic world. Rosenthal reveals in Franco's writing a passionate support of defenseless women, strong convictions about inequality, and, in the eroticized language of her epistolary verses, the seductive political nature of all poetic contests. It is Veronica Franco's insight into the power conflicts between men and women—and her awareness of the threat she posed to her male contemporaries—that makes her literary works and her dealings with Venetian intellectuals so pertinent today. Combining the resources of biography, history, literary theory, and cultural criticism, this sophisticated interdisciplinary work presents an eloquent and often moving account of one woman's life as an act of self-creation and as a complex response to social forces and cultural conditions. "A book . . . pleasurably redolent of Venice in the 16th-century. Rosenthal gives a vivid sense of a world of salons and coteries, of intricate networks of family and patronage, and of literary exchanges both intellectual and erotic."—Helen Hackett, Times Higher Education Supplement The Honest Courtesan is the basis for the film Dangerous Beauty (1998) directed by Marshall Herskovitz. (The film was re-titled The Honest Courtesan for release in the UK and Europe in 1999.)
Author: Peggielene Bartels, Eleanor Herman
Documents the story of how an American secretary was declared the monarch of a small fishing village on Ghana's central coast, recounting the challenges she faced in improving local circumstances, providing education and countering regional corruption. 100,000 first printing.
Author: Michele K. Spike
This is a fast-paced and colorful exploration of the life of Matilda of Canossa (c. 1046û1115), the woman who loved a pope and was loved by him, successfully defied the Holy Roman Emperor, and changed the map of Europe. A new kind of history, this biography also carries the flavor of present-day Italy. Matilda of Canossa, the ôGreat Countess,ö was a remarkable woman. Her personal power was so extraordinary that even centuries after her death she became the first woman to be interred in St. Peter's Basilica. She is best remembered for her role in the conflict between the papacy and the Holy Roman emperor, the climax of which took place at her castle of Canossa. This unique biography is also a journal of the author's travels through contemporary Tuscany as she explores the palaces where Matilda held court, the blood-stained plains on which her soldiers battled, the churches and cathedrals she endowed, and the fortified aeries where she sought refuge. Readers will be swept along on this engrossing journey retracing the steps of a courageous and brilliant woman.
Legacy of Kings
Author: Eleanor Herman
Royalty. Magic. Love. Betrayal. It's in Their Blood. Alexander, Macedon's sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world. Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess, seeks the deadly Spirit Eaters to alter her destiny.
Voice of Gods
Author: Eleanor Herman
"Readers who love myth and magic will devour it!" —Alex Flinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beastly "Fantasy just the way I like it." —Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Realms series Fantasy, magic, royalty and danger swirl together in Voice of Gods, the ebook prequel to Legacy of Kings by New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman! As the end of an age approaches, gods whisper horrors, families scheme for power and one woman may hold the secret to a lost legacy. At nineteen, Ada of Caria yearns to take the Snake Blood throne from her mad older siblings. She seeks the help of a young orphaned girl named Helen, the first True Oracle to have walked the earth in more than three hundred years. Helen may be able to channel the voice of the gods, but she hates her gift and will do anything to get rid of it—even lie to her best friend, Myrtale, the priestess-princess of Epirus who is destined to marry King Philip II of Macedon even though she loves another. And in the shadows lurks a handsome green-eyed stranger who has more at stake—and more to lose—than anyone could possibly imagine. Amid jealousy and heartbreak, torrid affairs and secret rendezvous, it is spoken by the gods that either Helen or Myrtale—newly named Olympias—will carry the destiny of the known world within her womb. The prequel to Legacy of Kings, Voice of Gods traces the intricate web of love and betrayal that led up to the birth of history's most powerful leader, Alexander the Great.
Dawn of Legends
Author: Eleanor Herman
AS HUMANS AND MONSTERS CLASH AND ROYAL BLOOD FLOWS, A NEW AGE WILL DAWN… Prince Alexander of Macedon has battled both men and monsters, but his final war will determine his fate…and the future of all mankind. While Macedon’s enemies close in from all corners of the earth, Alexander must fulfill one last prophecy that dictates only he—and he alone—can ensure humanity’s survival against the age of the deadly Spirit Eaters. As the threads of fate draw Alexander closer to his destiny, an exiled queen will meet a runaway princess, a young sorceress will set the final path of her heart and generals will choose their final battles. Before the light of victory can shine, enemies must become allies, Death must be tamed and hearts must break. Who will rise and who will die? All is revealed in the epic finale to New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman’s rich and fantastical Blood of Gods and Royals series.
Author: Christine Shaw
Publisher: Crux Publishing Ltd
Julius II was one of the most remarkable and colourful men ever to sit on the papal throne. His vigour, determination, ambition, passion for action and notorious temper were more suited to the soldier he would probably have preferred to be, than to the ecclesiastical potentate he became under the patronage of his uncle, Pope Sixtus IV. A cardinal for 30 years before his own election, Julius enjoyed a long career in at the centre of the political life of Renaissance Italy. After becoming pope in 1503, he revived the temporal authority of the papacy by his military campaigns, some of which he conducted in person. He was also an outstanding patron of the arts and commissioned major works including the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Many of his actions, however, compromised the papacy's spiritual authority, attracting the satire of Erasmus and contributing to Martin Luther's crisis of conscience. Shaw's account includes new material about Julius' career as a cardinal, which should give fresh perspectives on his policies as pope. The reports of those who negotiated with him, those who observed him and spied on him, ridiculed him and admired him, are used to depict the vivid, powerful and humorous personality of the "papa terribile" and the impact he made on his times.
The Tigress of Forli
Author: Elizabeth Lev
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
“In this insightful, fascinating portrayal, Elizabeth Lev brings Caterina Sforza and her times very much to life.”—Kathleen Turner, actress and author of Send Yourself Roses A strategist to match Machiavelli; a warrior who stood toe to toe with the Borgias; a wife whose three marriages would end in bloodshed and heartbreak; and a mother determined to maintain her family’s honor, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici was a true Renaissance celebrity, beloved and vilified in equal measure. In this dazzling biography, Elizabeth Lev illuminates her extraordinary life and accomplishments. Raised in the court of Milan and wed at age ten to the pope’s corrupt nephew, Caterina was ensnared in Italy’s political intrigues early in life. After turbulent years in Rome’s papal court, she moved to the Romagnol province of Forlì. Following her husband’s assassination, she ruled Italy’s crossroads with iron will, martial strength, political savvy, and an icon’s fashion sense. In finally losing her lands to the Borgia family, she put up a resistance that inspired all of Europe and set the stage for her progeny—including Cosimo de’ Medici—to follow her example to greatness. A rich evocation of Renaissance life, The Tigress of Forlì reveals Caterina Riario Sforza as a brilliant and fearless ruler, and a tragic but unbowed figure. “A rich, nuanced portrait of a highly controversial beauty and military leader, and her violent, albeit glittering, Italian Renaissance milieu.”—Publishers Weekly “Well-written and meticulously researched, The Tigress of Forlì recreates the world of Renaissance Italy in all its grandeur and violence. At the center stands a remarkable woman, Caterina Riario Sforza. Mother, warrior, and icon, Caterina is unforgettable, and so is the exciting story that Elizabeth Lev tells here.”—Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership
The illegitimate daughter of Pope Julius II, Felice della Rovere became one of the most powerful and accomplished women of the Italian Renaissance. Now, Caroline Murphy vividly captures the untold story of a rare woman who moved with confidence through a world of popes and princes.Using a wide variety of sources, including Felice's personal correspondence, as well as diaries, account books, and chronicles of Renaissance Rome, Murphy skillfully weaves a compelling portrait of this remarkable woman. Felice della Rovere was to witness Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, watch her father Pope Julius II lay the foundation stone for the new Saint Peter's, and see herself immortalized by Raphael in his Vatican frescos. With her marriage to Gian Giordano Orsini--arranged, though not attended, by her father the Pope--she came to possess great wealth and power, assets which she turned to her advantage. While her father lived, Felice exercised much influence in the affairs of Rome--even negotiating for peace with the Queen of France--and after his death, Felice persevered, making allies of the cardinals and clerics of St. Peter's and maintaining her control of the Orsini land through tenacity, ingenuity, and carefully cultivated political savvy. She survived the Sack of Rome in 1527, but her greatest enemy proved to be her own stepson Napoleone. The rivalry between him and her son Girolamo had a sudden and violent end, and brought her perilously close to losing everything she had spent her life acquiring.With a marvelous cast of characters, this is a spellbinding biography set against the brilliant backdrop of Renaissance Rome.
Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Cesare Borgia—three iconic figures whose intersecting lives provide the basis for this astonishing work of narrative history. They could not have been more different, and they would meet only for a short time in 1502, but the events that transpired when they did would significantly alter each man’s perceptions—and the course of Western history. In 1502, Italy was riven by conflict, with the city of Florence as the ultimate prize. Machiavelli, the consummate political manipulator, attempted to placate the savage Borgia by volunteering Leonardo to be Borgia’s chief military engineer. That autumn, the three men embarked together on a brief, perilous, and fateful journey through the mountains, remote villages, and hill towns of the Italian Romagna—the details of which were revealed in Machiavelli’s frequent dispatches and Leonardo’s meticulous notebooks. Superbly written and thoroughly researched, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior is a work of narrative genius—whose subject is the nature of genius itself.
The Weaker Vessel
Author: Antonia Fraser
The renowned historian and biographer Lady Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette, investigates the lot of women in seventeenth-century England. Drawing on period diaries, letters, and other papers, Fraser sketches portraits of a variety of women, both highborn and humble, during the tumultuous century between the death of Elizabeth and Queen Anne’s assumption of the throne. More than a collection of female biographies, The Weaker Vessel offers fresh insight into its subjects’ attitudes and lives, with appearances by heiresses and dairy maids, holy women and prostitutes, criminals and educators, widows and witches, midwives and mothers, heroines, courtesans, prophetesses, businesswomen, ladies of the court, and that new breed, the actress. "An almost encyclopedic chronicle of women in 17th century England...wives, warriors, heiresses, preachers... alive with anecdote after anecdote." – The New York Times Book Review